I’m an editorial-style agent at the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency looking primarily for young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) fiction, though I'll take on a picture book if it's really something special! I’m also on the hunt for some good new adult (NA) fiction and graphic novels. My preferred areas for all age groups are fantasy of all types, contemporary fiction, magical realism, speculative fiction, and genre-benders.
I love strong, memorable protagonists who stay with you long after you close the book—think kickass, unapologetic heroines like those in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series or Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. I want protagonists who subvert stereotypes and expectations, who speak their minds, and who make me wish they were real! I’m here for female characters who don’t denounce femininity for the sake of being strong. Anything with a strong, death-defying bond between its main characters is something I want to take a look at. I prefer stories that include a romantic element but aren’t centered around the romance. I also love stories featuring strong sibling relationships.
I want offbeat characters who force me to care about them no matter what difficult choices they end up making. I love witty, sarcastic humor, and I’m a huge fan of sassy one-liners. I’m always looking for stories about found family and ragtag groups of misfits à la Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series. I want ensemble casts, especially groups where everyone is close and loving without romance or jealousy in play, like the bunch in Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Zingy humor and a know-it-all voice, as found in the footnotes of Jaw Kristoff’s The Nevernight Chronicle series, are also big winners in my book.
For fantasy, I’m looking for imaginative, high-concept stories—I want to the world to feel complex and real without getting bogged down in information. I love super witchy stories, dark magic, and twisted worlds. I particularly love fantasy worlds inspired by non-western cultures. I’m also a huge fan of low fantasy and seeing the magic hidden away in our world, unseen to us. In general, I’m a fan of the dynamics that come with gods and goddesses, demons, angels, and assassins.
In middle grade, I love having a whimsical element. There’s a silliness in this age group that can’t always be achieved in young adult books. It’s also important to me to represent middle grade that honors the intelligence and creativity of its audience and doesn’t try to “dumb down” the material because it’s for children. I’m always looking for heartfelt, tear-jerker MG stories, and I love dark and creepy middle grade.
In all cases, I’m looking for something fun, fresh, and exciting—a new spin on an old trope, an innovative perspective on an old story. A unique, memorable narrative voice is a must. I want to find stories so delightful that I stay up late and finish them in one sitting.
I strongly prefer diverse casts of characters, and I mean diversity in its broadest sense. I’m particularly drawn to #ownvoices works.
I’m generally not looking for historical novels, particularly war stories or anything set in colonial America. I don’t represent outright horror, mystery, or westerns. I don’t represent nonfiction.
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